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The cases of mystery fever are now being reported from Lucknow. More than 400 viral patients, including 40 children, have been admitted to various government hospitals in the state capital in the past two days. More than 20 per cent of patients in the OPD are complaining of fever, cold and congestion. While doctors term these cases as seasonal flu due to changing weather conditions, there is panic among the patients who fear that this may be the beginning of the third wave of the Covid pandemic.
There are instructions in the hospitals to not take patients in the OPD section without conducting a Covid antigen test. As per the hospitals, the number of viral patients has increased by about 15 per cent in the last week. In the third week of August, the number of fever victims was about 5 per cent. Hospitals like Balrampur Hospital, Civil Hospital and Lohia Institute have seen a surge in recent viral cases.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered that sanitation and hygiene operations should be taken up on war footing. Photo by Mohd Aram on Unsplash
More than 300 patients have come to OPD with fever problems. In Mahanagar Bhaurao Deoras, Rani Laxmibai, Lokbandhu, Ram Sagar Mishra and Community Health Centres, the number of fever victims has been increasing continuously. In the pediatrics department, 12 children suffering from fever have been admitted. Of these, seven are from Lucknow.
The number of people getting tested for dengue, malaria, typhoid is also more than normal. According to the medical superintendent of the Bhaurao Deoras hospital, Dr Manish, 10 to 15 children with fever are coming daily. Dr S.K. Nanda, director of Civil Hospital, said.
"The weather is changing rapidly. Humidity has increased in the atmosphere. In such a situation, viruses are present on the lower surface of the atmosphere. There has been an increase in the number of viral fever cases and three dengue patients are admitted in the hospital. There has also been an increase of 20 per cent in cases of viral fever and other related diseases."
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered that sanitation and hygiene operations should be taken up on war footing. He has also asked hospitals to brace up to meet the situation which is being closely monitored by health officials.(IANS/HP)
Keywords: mystery fever, lucknow, Covid pandemic, viral fever, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
A whopping 90 percent of people -- young and old alike -- feel that technology brought neighborhood communities together during the Covid pandemic, making it easier for them to address community issues seamlessly, cutting downtime and efforts, according to a report by community app MyGate.
The report titled 'Trust Circle' by MyGate involved participants from over 2,867 Indians of all ages across Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune. People depended on technology to keep up strong relations. WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet added a new meaning to staying connected and combating pandemic-induced loneliness.
Nearly 43 percent of the respondents were over 45 years of age (28 percent) as millennials (27 percent) and Gen Z (27 percent) admit that after the Covid pandemic, they would continue to use technology to stay connected with their ecosystem showcasing the acceptance of technology usage across generations, the report showed.
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"While technology has long been used to bring together people separated by large distances, in the pandemic, it brought neighbors closer together," Shreyans Daga - CTO & CoFounder, MyGate, told IANS.
"While technology has been in place in housing societies for some time, its usage was pretty limited to practical purposes like learning society rules or raising a complaint. In the pandemic, though, we've seen big changes in this regard. Participation in critical decisions, elections, society celebrations, events, and even in civic matters, most of these done virtually, is at an all-time high. In our research, 90 percent of respondents have said that technology has been crucial to bringing their community together," Daga added.
While technology has been in place in housing societies for some time, its usage was pretty limited to practical purposes like learning society rules or raising a complaint.Pixabay
Men (62 percent) were found more often to rely on technology in their neighborhood for any help or information they need to be compared to women (40 percent). About 44 percent of respondents said they would turn to technology to verify/validate the credibility of service providers such as an electrician, plumbers, etc.
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"In the uncertainty of the pandemic, it led to the strengthening of local communities, which has been a very positive development. If technology, as a support system, begins to overtake others then surely it can be cause for concern, as numerous studies have shown. However, our research currently points to the opposite, with strong acknowledgment of the role people play in our lives and the need for human connection," Daga said.
According to the report, while the degree or depth may differ, the emergence of neighborhoods as a pillar of the 'Trust Circle' has become a national phenomenon, cutting across age groups, regions, and nature of dwelling. Over 75 percent of respondents' 'Trust Circle' now includes people from the neighborhood as well, while 81 percent claim that they would be more likely to depend on their neighbors as compared to pre-Covid-19 times. (IANS/KB)
The first test flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III) that will carry the Indian astronauts to space later will not happen this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown said a top official of the Indian space agency. He also said most of the design and documentation activities have been completed for the rocket.
"Owing to the spread of coronavirus infection and the lockdowns across the countries, vendors are working at a lower capacity or closed which in turn has impacted the supply of components. Even our officials are working from home due to the lockdown," K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Secretary, Department of Space told IANS.
Pointing out ISRO opening the year 2021 with the successful launch of Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites he said the spread of Covid-19 and lockdowns curtailed the operations. The first human-rated unmanned GSLV-Mk III, the first of the two test flights, was scheduled to fly by the end of 2021. Taking the flight results another unmanned rocket would fly while the third rocket will carry the Indian astronauts.
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"Major design and documentation activities for the Ganganyaan project have been completed," Sivan added. An ISRO official had earlier told IANS that the crew module is under development and orders for 80 percent of the hardware have been placed.
According to the official, the static tests of the rocket's solid-fuel motor are slated this September, and liquid fuel engines will also be tested. Meanwhile, the four Indian astronauts returned to India this March after completing their training in Russia and will undergo different space mission-specific training in the country. Sivan also said ISRO is waiting to launch India's first Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) to be placed in geostationary orbit.
GEO Imaging Satellite 1 or GISAT-1 in deployed configuration.Wikimedia Commons
Queried about launching the satellite using foreign rockets like Ariane of Arianespace as there is an opportunity cost involved with a fully built satellite on the ground Sivan said: "Only China and the US are launching rockets. Others are not. Anyway, we have our own rocket to launch."
He said once the Covid-19 spread comes down, the satellite will be launched. The satellite and the rocket (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - F10 (GSLV-F10) are ready at the rocket launch center in Sriharikota. The GISAT-1 will be the country's first sky-eye or earth observation satellite to be placed in geostationary orbit.
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Originally the GISAT-1 was slated for launch on March 5, 2020, but hours before the launch ISRO announced the postponement of the mission owing to some technical glitch. Soon after the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown delayed the mission. The rocket had to be dismantled and cleaned up.
Subsequently, the GISAT-1 launch was slated for March 2021 but due to problems in the satellite's battery side, the flight got delayed and the battery was replaced. The Indian space agency had earlier said the 2,268 kg GISAT-1 would provide a real-time image of a large area of the region of interest at frequent intervals. It will also enable quick monitoring of natural disasters, episodic events, and any short-term events. (IANS/KB)
British-Swedish biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has in partnership with the University of Oxford rolled out human trials for booster shots against the Beta Covid variant.
The booster shot, named AZD2816, will be administered to individuals who have previously been fully vaccinated with two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine/Vaxzervia or an mRNA vaccine, at least three months after their last injection.
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In non-vaccinated individuals, AZD2816 will be given as two doses, four or twelve weeks apart, or given as a second dose following a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine/Vaxzervia --four weeks apart, the company said in a statement on Sunday.
AZD2816 has been designed using the same adenoviral vector platform as AstraZeneca vaccine/ Vaxzervia, with minor genetic alterations to the spike protein based on the Beta (B1351) variant, first identified in South Africa.
The study aims to enrol 2,250 participants from the UK, South Africa, Brazil and Poland to build immunity against the Beta Covid variant.
"Testing booster doses of existing vaccines and new variant vaccines are important to ensure we are best prepared to stay ahead of the pandemic coronavirus, should their use be needed," said Professor Sir Andrew J. Pollard, chief investigator and director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, in the statement.
Initial data from the trial is expected later this year and, once available, will be submitted to regulators for assessment as a next-generation booster vaccine and through an expedited regulatory pathway, the company said.
"The Beta variant vaccine contains 10 changes across the spike protein, many of which are also seen in other variants of concern, and which lead to effects such as, reduced ability of antibodies induced against the original virus to block cell entry (K417N, E484K, N501Y), increased infectivity compared to the original virus (D614G); reduced sensitivity of neutralising antibodies to the original virus (L452R)," the company said.
Besides these minor modifications, the two AZD2816 and AstraZeneca vaccine/ Vaxzervia vaccines are the same, it noted.
In May, the UK launched a clinical trial that aimed to assess the efficacy of a third 'booster' dose of seven different Covid-19 vaccines -- Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, Valneva, Janssen and Curevac -- on patients immune responses.
It costs 19.3 million pounds and is being funded by the UK government and led by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that there is currently no data to support that a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot is needed for the general population. But, an extra dose may be needed for more vulnerable groups, such as older adults or organ transplant patients.
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Both Pfizer and Moderna are investigating a third dose of the Covid vaccine, while Johnson & Johnson is studying the need for a second dose to raise protection against the virus, the report said.
The US NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, or NIAID, is also conducting a clinical trial to understand whether the third shot of a Moderna vaccine could be given after a person initially received two shots of Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson, the report added. (IANS/AD)